This text is intended as a primary text for courses on helping skills. These courses are offered at the undergraduate level in departments of human services, social work, and psychology and focus on teaching students helping skills (as opposed to clinical skills). The book will focus on helping students understand the nature of helping relationships and the specific skills involved in initiating and maintaining a helping relationship. It is a brief, practice and skills based book for an undergraduate non-clinical audience. Part I will cover the following topics: self Awareness, the helping process, and ethics in helping. The second part will focus on skills such as listening and hearing, empathy, reflecting, paraphrasing, questioning, clarifying, exploring, offering feedback, encouragement and psycho-education. The last two chapters will focus on individuals in crisis, and helping in groups – two areas often encountered by helping professionals. The book is enhaced by brief video clips that demonstrate key skills.

Understanding Development: Theories, Social Context, and Neuroscience

Understanding Development: Theories, social context, and neuroscience

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how various developmental and related theories influence how helpers think about growth and change
  • Describe two major ways in which social and cultural factors influence development and well-being
  • Describe how neurosynaptic connections and brain structures interpret and transmit sensory information, and how these processes regulate meaning-making systems and behaviors


This chapter begins with a discussion about theory, that is, what a theory is. Then, what follows is a brief review of some of the more commonly used human development and related theories that underlie the thinking and direction of individuals in the helping professions. The purpose of discussing these theories is to expose some of the ways in which helpers think about ...

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